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NCUA extends comment period on proposal to expand definition of “small” credit union

The National Credit Union Administration has extended the comment period on a proposal that would broaden the definition of “small” credit unions to include institutions with less than $30 million in assets.

The proposal, unveiled by the NCUA board last month, would not only lighten the regulatory burden on small credit unions but would also require the federal agency to more thoroughly evaluate the potential costs and benefits of proposed rules that apply to such institutions.

The NCUA said that the comment period for the proposal, originally set to end Oct. 26, will be extended until Nov. 26.

Carrie R. Hunt, the general counsel and vice president of regulatory affairs at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, said that the organization supports the proposal but would pressure NCUA to set the threshold even higher so a greater number of “small credit unions can benefit from reduced regulatory burden.”

The NCUA defines a “small” credit union as an institution with less than $10 million in assets, a threshold established in 2003 when 52 percent of all credit unions qualified as “small” institutions. Currently, only 35 percent of all credit unions fall under the threshold.

The NCUA said that the proposal would increase the number of credit unions who fall under the threshold to 4,000, or approximately 58 percent of all credit unions.

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